Let There Be Light: Pros and Cons of Adding Skylights to Your Roof

You may have seen home renovation shows or Instagram stories featuring skylights. Installing skylights is a popular home improvement, as it can make a massive difference in the feel of your home’s interior. But you may also be considering replacing your floors, upgrading your bathroom, redoing your landscaping, or any number of other exciting projects around your home. With so many home projects competing for your time and dollars, choosing which ones to pull the trigger on and which to skip can be difficult. If skylights are working their way to the top of your home wish list, explore the pros and cons to make an informed choice.

Pros of Adding Skylights:

Light

It’s right there in the name: “skylight.” The additional natural light is the most compelling reason to install skylights. They can work in any space but are especially ideal in areas without many windows or that receive only filtered or northern-exposure window light. If you don’t get enough natural light through windows in the walls, putting a window in the roof, which is what a skylight is, might be your solution.

Light fixtures can help brighten a dark room, but they can’t duplicate natural light’s warm, open feeling. That’s where a skylight comes in. Skylights take a space from feeling dark and depressing to bright and cheerful.

Ventilation

There are two types of skylights: fixed and ventilating. Fixed skylights do not move or open. They consist of one pane or several panes of glass sealed into the roof. However, if you opt for a ventilating skylight, you can open it, creating even more benefits.

Opening a window in your ceiling provides an additional source of fresh air, which is ideal for rooms lacking sufficient airflow. This increased air circulation can be especially beneficial in areas that experience excess moisture, like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry areas. Additionally, because the hottest air in your home rises to the ceiling, opening a ventilated skylight can allow it to escape, bringing down the overall temperature and decreasing air conditioning costs.

Extra airflow can make a warm evening in your living room more pleasant. And, a cool evening breeze wafting in from a bedroom’s skylight can feel fantastic. A ventilated skylight can be an excellent option for any space.

Sense of Spaciousness

Some rooms feel smaller than their measurements suggest. If it feels like the walls are closing in on you, you may find the solution in your ceiling. By adding a skylight, you create a sense of openness. Your room will feel more spacious because the eye is drawn outside, expanding the perceived size of the space.

View

Suppose you are fortunate enough to have a home that overlooks a park, a beautiful mountain range, or some other spectacular scene. In that case, you want to provide every opportunity to enjoy that view. Skylights offer another chance to bring that gorgeous vista into your home.

If your windows only capture a close up of the side of your neighbors house or the unsightly parking lot next door, they don’t provide the best view. A skylight will bring in blue sky and perhaps some treetops. That means you can have a lovely view even if your surroundings are less-than-beautiful.

Resale Value

For all the same reasons you will enjoy having skylights, potential buyers will like them, too. Skylights make your home more appealing, meaning that when it’s time to sell, you have an advantage over the competition. The light, ventilation, spaciousness, and view your skylights provide can add value to your home, helping it sell quickly and at a higher price.

Cons of Adding Skylights:

Cost

Nothing in life is free, and that includes skylights. However, with so many options available, there are choices for nearly any budget. Your roof services company can walk you through the options to see what works for you. There are also roofing companies that offer financing, which can help make your skylight dreams a reality with a smaller upfront cost.

Potential Leaks

A skylight can leak if not correctly installed or when it is past its expected lifespan. You can mitigate against this risk by choosing a high-quality skylight and working with a trusted roofing contractor. Still, eventually, as the skylight ages, it can leak just like an older window can. Regular roof inspections can catch these problems before they cause damage to your home.

Damage During Storms

Most skylights have coatings that make them resistant to shattering, but if hit hard enough, they can break. If a storm blows over a tree and sends a branch directly into your skylight, no amount of coating will help. Of course, a falling tree can also cause a hole in the roof, so a lack of skylight doesn’t mean you won’t have storm damage. When considering skylight placement, keep any overhanging trees in mind.

UV Damage

While many skylights are treated so that they filter out some of the more harmful light, they do let in some UV light. This light can lead to fading of the carpet, walls, or furniture exposed to the light.

Skylights can be a fantastic addition to your home. They offer many benefits that you can enjoy for years to come. While there are some potential downsides, you can mitigate against many of those by choosing a quality product and an experienced installer. So if you think a skylight is a good choice for your home, you’re probably right!

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